Four arrested in Australia as police thwart terrorist plot to bring down a plane
On the 4th August, Australian Police announced that they had arrested two suspected terrorists who had planned to place an Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.) in their unsuspecting brothers bag as he flew from Sydney to Dubai on the 15th July. Luckily Airport Security in Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport detected the I.E.D – it had been disguised as a meat mincer.
Police disrupted a terrorist plot to bring down an airplane and arrested four men on Saturday in raids on homes in several Sydney suburbs, the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Sunday that security had been increased at Sydney Airport since Thursday because of the plot. The increased security measures had been extended to all major international and domestic terminals around Australia overnight.
“I can report last night that there has been a major joint counterterrorism operation to disrupt a terrorist plot to bring down an airplane,” Turnbull told reporters. “The operation is continuing.”
“In recent days, law enforcement has been become aware of information that suggested some people in Sydney were planning to commit a terrorist attack using an improvised devise,” Colvin said.
“We are investigating information indicating the aviation industry was potentially a target of that attack,” he added.
Australia’s terrorist threat level remained unchanged at “probable,” Turnbull said.
Turnbull advised travelers in Australia to arrive at Australian airports earlier than usual — two hours before departure — to allow for extra security screening and to minimize baggage.
From Syria to Sydney: how the airport terror plot unfolded
It was announced by Australian Police that the “High-Grade” military explosives had been sent from Turkey to Australia in separate shipments three months before the planned attack
The fallout from the recent foiled terrorist attack in Sydney, Australia is still being felt with claims that agencies such as the CIA had been monitoring communications and had knowledge of the planned attack – this information was only shared after the device was detected, It was this information that lead to the two arrests.
It does beg the question though, if the CIA was tracking communications between terror cells in Australia and Turkey why did they not inform both countries so that they could take pro-active action that could have prevented an I.E.D. being taken into an airport.
As Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad rained down chemical gas on the village of Khan Shaykhun, and US President Donald Trump launched a volley of Tomahawk missiles in reply, a senior Islamic State fighter in Syria sent a text message to his brother in Australia.
Tarek Khayat had been in Syria for years. He was one of the thousands of foreigners who had traded life in the suburbs for the grisly adventurers of jihad.
Now, as the Syrian war ground towards its inexorable conclusion and Islamic State faced the prospect of its own destruction, Tarek reached out to his brother Khaled to help launch a catastrophic terrorist attack in the West.
Khaled was an unlikely instrument of Islamic State’s wrath. The 49-year-old lived an otherwise unremarkable life in Lakemba, in Sydney’s southwest. He worked as a butcher and hailed from a large family of Lebanese Australians. Save for a brief once-over from ASIO after Tarek arrived in Syria, Khaled was of no interest to security authorities.
Police now believe Khaled, and his younger brother Mahmoud, harboured a deep desire to kill on behalf of Islamic State.